When I was eighteen months old I scaled the front porch of my childhood home and sat on the roof giggling like crazy. The Parents were going crazy running around the house unable to find me as The Brother kept pointing up with a look of awe on his face. All the while, The Parents searched for me to no avail. Finally my giggles made them look skyward. There I was, sitting on the overhang of the porch, 20 feet in the air, laughing my diapered butt off.
Of course, I don’t have any recollection of this day but I’ve been told the story several times.
When I was three years old on our annual family trip to Disney World, The Dad had me hanging over the back of the Mark Twain boat going to Tom Sawyer’s Island when I kicked one of my brand new Stride Rites off into the deep murky water. The Parents searched to no avail in every gift shop trying to find a replacement pair of shoes for me. They ended up at the nurse’s station with a flip flop begging for duct tape or something to keep a shoe on my little feet.
The nurse pulled me into a separate room and quizzed me about abuse. She asked me questions that, of course, I couldn’t answer because I wasn’t abused. My parents never laid a hurtful hand on me. I was just a tomboy. I liked to be outside with BB guns, mud and bugs. I was a rough tumbler of a girl that never allowed my parents heart rates to function at a normal rate.
My nicknames from The Dad include Bonkin and Punkin. I attribute Bonkin my never ending ability to bruise myself with no recollection as to how I bruised. Every daddy calls their little girl something cute when they aren’t roughing about, and my other nickname happens to be Punkin. Knowing this, I’ve developed a strong love of all things pumpkin.
To start fall off right, I made pumpkin bars that are actually a little more cake than bar… but who cares? Pumpkin and cream cheese frosting! It doesn’t get any better than that! Of course, I can’t figure out if I should let The Dad call me Bonkin or Punkin this week. I, of course, bonked my head (bad enough to see black dots) in the fridge (don’t ask) while making these perfect pumpkin bars.
Spiced Pumpkin Bars
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 2/3 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
3 c confectioners sugar
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add flour mixture; beat until well combined. Spread batter into a 9x13x2″ baking dish.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the center is set and the sides just start to brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Gradually add confectioners sugar beating until smooth. Frost pumpkin bars, cover and store in refrigerator.
I really think the best way to eat pumpkin bars is to eat them ice cold. My parents really like them room temperature… it’s up to you. Enjoy!
Taking advantage of the rainy day that is surely to get worse, I’m headed to the fruit stand tonight to get a bushel of apples! Coming soon… apple butter, applesauce, applebread… apple daydreams and apple nightmares.